In what he surely thought was a serious analysis from High Atop The Thing, over at Fishwrap, Michael Sean Winters, the Wile E. Coyote of the catholic Left and one of the New catholic Red Guards, looked at the beginning of the USCCB’s annual November meeting.

Comrade Coyote wrote:

Some of the bishops are good friends with Cardinal Raymond Burke who has asserted that Amoris Laetitia is not a magisterial document.  [How ominous!]

Everything about the culture of the bishops argues against them ever allowing their division to be aired too obviously in public. The divisions are clear, this year most tellingly in the race for the next chair of the Pro-Life Activities Committee, which pits Cardinal Cupich against Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas. Naumann is the embodiment of the culture warrior style of episcopal leadership and Cupich personifies the consistent ethic of life approach advocated by his predecessor in Chicago, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. No one is sure how that vote will turn out. Everyone is sure the vote will be a quasi-referendum on support for Pope Francis.


This morning the bishops voted to elect Archbishop Naumann, not Cupich, as head of the Pro-Life Committee, 96-82.

212 bishops participated in a “practice” vote.  178 voted on the matter of this committee.  So, 34 abstained.

But… “Everyone is sure the vote will be a quasi-referendum on support for Pope Francis.”

It will be interesting to see what Wile E.’s analysis will be of this!   NB, his ominous mention of Card. Burke.   Hmmm….

I know!



Comrade Winters has offered his inevitable penetrating analysis from his fainting couch at National Schismatic Reporter(Take note the photo of Naumann they chose to post.  Wow, do they hate him.)

Thus, Winters:

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this amounted to the bishops giving the middle finger to Pope Francis.

It is revealing that Comrade Winters would think like this: Catholic bishops elect for their PRO-LIFE committee someone whose priority would be defense of the unborn and against euthanasia… and that is considered an insult to THE POPE.

If you are the Coyote, and Francis is your first Pope ehvur… then, yes, that makes sense.

Winters goes straight into NEW cATHOLIC RED GUARD attack mode.  You can practically hear the whistle blowing.

The current chair [of Pro-Life] is Cardinal Timothy Dolan who, like Naumann, is a protégé of Cardinal Justin Rigali. Some of us who have been watching the bishops for a long time from the bleachers on the left have a saying about Rigali’s career: “He has ruined everything he ever touched.” In giving his committee report on Monday, Dolan singled out Naumann for praise. It was a none too subtle placing of his finger on the scales.

So, this is Winters signalling that Dolan must now be hauled into the street with a sign around his neck and “struggled” for being against Francis Thought.  The Four Olds must be smashed!

This brutal attack on Card. Dolan, and of course Archbp. Naumann, was followed by what can only be characterized is as a sycophantic whine about the merits of his favored candidate.  Well, done Comrade.


It has been reported that Archbp. Naumann was spotted talking to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia before the election!   Kirill is said to have been carrying a dossier prepared by Card. Rigalli, the contents of which haven’t yet been determined.


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  1. Dan says:

    Feeling a little soiled but I went over to fishwrap to check on this coverage. Looks like Wile. E. has opined. “Not to put too fine a point on it, but this amounted to the bishops giving the middle finger to Pope Francis.”
    Wow! “The middle finger” for electing a pro-life bishop. Do we really now have to talk about Catholic bishops and qualify that they are pro-life?
    Mr. Winters might want to consider that it was himself, and not Pope Francis that the US Bishops are giving the middle finger. to.

  2. Dan says:

    Take this with a grain of salt because I heard the story from a Frenchman, but I had once heard a story of the origin of the middle finger as an insult.
    The story goes that in the middle ages when the English and French were at war, that when the English would catch a French archer that they would cut off his middle finger since it without it they would not have the strength to draw their long bows. So when the French would present themselves for battle the archers took to presenting their middle fingers to the English to show that they could still draw their bows.
    So with that in mind, perhaps the US bishops are really and truly giving the middle finger to Winters and the left by electing a “culture warrior” showing they are all ready for battle.

  3. Benedict Joseph says:

    While I appreciate the outcome, the margin is far too small. Bodes poorly for the future.
    Will this ever end?
    Will we ever again have a Church devoted to the authentic worship of Almighty God, rather than a collegiate debate society absorbed in itself?
    Will ever again have a Church constituted by faithful clergy, religious and laity convicted in their ascent to Divine Revelation, rather that wallowing in soft agnosticism?
    Will this never end?

    [Of course it will! A cardiologist friend told me once that her standard response to those who resist their treatment with the exclamation, “Do I have to take this stuff forever?!?”, is “No, just until you die.” This, too, shall pass. There will be another pontificate someday. The Lord will return someday. If you are developing ecclesiastical PTSD, you might try tuning out for a while and concentrating on good Catholic reading. Also, look at history!]

  4. Robert of Rome says:

    Fr. Z, you neo-pelagian!!

    [In general, only libs are the true neo-pelagians.  However, in a spirit of ecumenism, I made some Z-Swag for them, too!   HERE I am nothing if not inclusive:]

  5. Robert of Rome says:

    Max of the Beanstalk writes that people like you, Father Z, who hate Vatican II, pine for a return to the Middle Ages, which, Maximus maintains, is not the idyll of Church order that people like you, Father Z, who hate Vatican II, believe it to be. This attack line misses the point that many of us are trying to make. Why is it that the Left pretends that, during their respective pontificates, St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI were also against Vatican II, so that the only authentic interpreter of that much beloved Council is the current incumbent?

    [It’s obvious that Pope St. John Paul and Pope Benedict clearly didn’t understand Vatican II and they most certainly hated Vatican II even more than libs think that I hate Vatican II. Hence, they are to be ignored and, if possible, their teaching must be suppressed. As for the rest… what you said.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  6. Sawyer says:

    Whether or not the vote was intended as an affront to Pope Francis, if Francis perceives it to be an affront, watch him respond with a middle finger of his own to the USCCB in the form of his appointment to the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Archbishop, soon to be Cardinal, Robert McElroy, anyone?

  7. will99lang says:

    Dan, your point is actually right. During the hundred`s years war, archers were valuable soldiers who could be stopped from ever fighting again by just cutting off the middle finger. Both the English and the French did this to their common enemies. And of course, the battles started with both sides showing their middle fingers as warnings.

    A joke is said that when St. Joan of Arc came, there were almost no archers left, so she had to go against her name and use cannons. :)

    Oh and Father Z, would not the title of Patriarch Kirill include I? Does not the Orthodoxs include I in the name, even when there is not a II? Or am I getting propagandized?

  8. Mr. Graves says:

    I hate to give traffic to Fishwrap but made an exception today. Their combox is venomous. [One expects nothing less than venom when Winters is involved.]

    Thank you, Fr Z, for the more light/less heat approach here.

  9. Traductora says:

    Aside from the fact that it should have been unanimous (in my dreams!), this is really good news. I assume the abstentions were those who didn’t want to draw down the Wrath of Francis. Cowardly, perhaps, but at least they weren’t cowardly enough to vote for Cupich. So this is in fact quite a cheering bit of news.

  10. Michael Haz says:

    It’s difficult not to admire Cardinal Dolan despite his being a Yankees fan.

  11. Aquinas Gal says:

    Their headline says the bishops broke tradition–you’d think Wile. E. would be happy about that. Yes break tradition! But not if it goes against their agenda.

  12. Emsley says:

    I’m not usually a great admirer of Cardinal Dolan, but kudos to him on this one.

  13. sekcatholic says:

    From Crux: “The US bishops have broken with tradition in a surprise vote for the leadership of their pro-life committee, with Archbishop Joseph Naumann gaining a narrow margin over Cardinal Blase Cupich.”

    There’s been too much breaking with tradition lately, but I’ll give this one a pass and say a prayer of thanks!

  14. Paulus says:

    Sawyer says: …soon to be Cardinal, Robert McElroy, anyone?

    Call me selfish. Call me provincial. But so long as he moves on from the Diocese of San Diego…..

  15. Uxixu says:

    It was concerning that Cardinal Cupich was even up for consideration considering that it’s the same man who is for giving the Blessed Sacrament to pro-infanticide politicians, supported the heretic Tutu against the Neumann Society at Gonzaga, and discouraged his clergy and seminarians from protesting Planned Parenthood. It’s patently obvious to everyone he’s not interested in expending even minimal effort against abortion.

  16. The N”C”R commentariat is spitting mad.

    I, on the other hand, feel much more cheerful today!

  17. SKAY says:

    Really good news. I would like to thank the Bishops that voted for Archbishop Naumann.

  18. VP says:

    No Blase of glory this time, thanks be to God. Next year he can run for Chairman of the “All Are Welcome” committee.

  19. JohnoftheCross says:

    Just watch what happens next. Archibishop Naumann will get “promoted” to fill a newly created position – Head of the Vatican-Albino Relations. He will have to depart for Rome immediately and there will be a revote for the Pro-Life Chair.

  20. hwriggles4 says:

    I was glad to find out this morning that one of my favorite bishops, Bishop Burbidge, was given the chair of the Communications Committee. I was pleased with the selection of Archbishop Naumann as well for the pro life chair.

    Like the Fishwrap, a well known Chicago newspaper ran a piece yesterday (yahoo news carried it) that made it sound like Cupich was passed over, and that was an oops for AmChurch. The mainstream media just doesn’t get it.

  21. Gail says:

    “Not to put too fine a point on it, but this amounted to the bishops giving the middle finger to Pope Francis.”
    That man is a LOON, why does anyone publish or read him???

  22. Nankin says:

    “Not to put too fine a point on it, but this amounted to the bishops giving the middle finger to Pope Francis.” – How then, would you define working for a publication that has been condemned by it’s Ordinary, and has defied for the past 49 years the Bishop’s instruction to remove the word “Catholic” from it’s masthead?

    [Good point.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  23. Semper Gumby says:

    Well, the jig is up. The cat is out of the bag. Hopefully, the libs won’t find out that other trad plots are afoot.

    On a cool and damp November evening in Rome Tracer Bullet climbed the steps from the Via del Teatro up to the Piazza on the Capitoline Hill. In the center of the Piazza, slumped at the base of a statue of Marcus Aurelius on horseback, two drunks passed between them a bottle of hooch in a paper bag. Tracer surveyed the scene with approval and thought: my kind of place for a secret meeting.

    In the night sky above Rome the clouds sailed past on a cold wind from the Alps far to the north. The moon bathed the piazza in a warm glow, bringing a hint of life to the statues of Marcus Aurelius, Castor and Pollux, and highlighting the lasagna stains on Tracer’s trenchcoat. Tracer looked at the stains again. Oh well, Monsignor Olsen has been a priest for fifty years and has seen it all.

    Tracer looked around the Piazza again and listened for a while to the traffic streaming by on the street behind him. From his pocket he took out a street map, shook it open, looked at it briefly in the moonlight and put it away. He lit a Lucky Strike with his Zippo lighter.

    Soon, one of the drunks handed the bottle of water with a splash of vinegar to his buddy. He stood up and shook the dust off his coat, staggering away to disappear behind the Palazzo Senatoria. Tracer smoked his Lucky Strike and waited. After a few minutes the other derelict stood up, glanced at Tracer, and also shuffled off behind the Palazzo.

    Tracer followed slowly. Behind the Palazzo he turned the corner onto the Via del Tempo di Giove, which ran between a row of trees and the Temple of Jupiter. In the gloom ahead Monsignor Olsen stood in the narrow street, leaning on a cane.
    “Hello Tracer.”
    “Fine evening Monsignor.”
    “It is, let’s walk.”
    The two men shook hands, Tracer handed the priest a bag of pipe tobacco, and they began to walk. Fifty feet ahead one of the drunks shuffled along at the same pace.
    “We won a small victory with that USCCB vote Tracer, we need to keep the pressure on. What do you have in your little cupboard of tricks?”
    Tracer thought for a moment. “Padre, we could beseech Heaven to rain down everlastin’ fire on their households and crops.”
    “Tracer, that would make a point, but alas, too apocalyptic.”
    “Okay, hmm, how about itching powder on their fainting couches and mice in their closets.”
    “Too prep school.”
    Tracer snapped his fingers. “I know, we mount up and ride into the offices of the Fishwrap a-whoppin’ and a-whoopin’ everything in sight.”
    “Too Blazing Saddles.” Msgr. Olsen clapped Tracer on the shoulder. “Don’t worry. We’ll think of something.”
    Msgr. Olsen handed Tracer a page from a notepad. “Here’s the list for next month. Thanks again for that pipe tobacco. Hard to find these days.”
    Tracer pocketed the note and handed the Monsignor a ticket from a parking garage and a key. “It’s all loaded up in the usual parking spot. There’s also plum pudding for the British priests, sacher torte for the Austrians, RC Cola and Moon Pies for the priests from Atlanta, and for the Californian seminarians a couple cases of Yoo-Hoo.”
    “Ah, well done Tracer!” exclaimed the priest.
    As the two men walked the drunk up ahead pressed his hand to his ear as if he was listening to an earpiece. The man took something from his pocket, appeared to write something down, and then dropped what looked like crumpled paper onto the street. The drunk continued up the street. Tracer picked up the paper and handed it to Monsignor Olsen, who stopped beneath a streetlamp to read.
    “Tracer, something’s come up. We won’t meet next month.”
    Tracer looked quizzically at the priest.
    “Father Fox. Ran into a bit of trouble in New Orleans.”
    “Drats,” Tracer replied. “Just getting used to this Rome thing. How’s Father Fox doing?”
    “Oh, he’s fine,” the Monsignor assured Tracer. “But someone is trying to cancel Christmas for the orphans.”
    Tracer stared at the priest as he pulled out his Lucky Strikes and Zippo. “Who? Who is messin’ with the orphans?”
    “The usual suspects, Tracer, the usual suspects.”
    “I can be there yesterday Padre.”
    “Now settle down Tracer.” The Monsignor paused and looked at the ace private eye. “You know what else New Orleans has?”
    Tracer lit a Lucky Strike. “What’s that Padre?”
    “Cobblestone streets, streetcars, and saxophones.”
    Tracer nodded. “Excellent Padre.” He exhaled a plume of smoke up into the Roman sky toward the stars far above. “Excellent.”

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  24. Pingback: USCCB Sends MASSIVE Signal To “DavosPope” That Pro-Life Movement More Important Than FrancisChurch… | The Deus Ex Machina Blog

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